I’m sure the majority of you didn’t even raise an eyebrow at that title, because you all know exactly what I mean. The recent influx of Marvel and DC films over the last few years, and their mainstream popularity amongst those who either weren’t interested in the comic books or hadn’t heard of them until now, shows just how popular it’s become to be a geek. This is no bad thing, of course, but it’s a very peculiar U-Turn considering that to be a geek used to be something for which kids were bullied at school. Now kids are probably bullied if they’re not into the latest superhero franchise… Well, it’s probably not that bad, but it’s still an interesting phenomenon.
It’s sociable to be a geek.
I, for one, welcome this new horizon in terms of being ‘cool’. People are welcoming the idea that it’s a good thing to be really passionate and interested in any topic, whether the subject involves a fictional story or even a pastime, which might be a slightly odd and unique niche. It really brings people together when they have a common interest, and I think that’s been the key to changing the idea of geeks as lonely, unsociable weirdos into the idea that, actually, to be geeky is to be part of a community of like-minded people with a similar, exciting interest. It’s boring not to be geeky, because it means you don’t have some hardcore obsession or interest.
We live in the technological age.
Maybe in the 80s it wasn’t cool to spend all your time on a computer, but now that the internet rules our entire social lives, rather than just affording us the ability to play games or simply use ‘boring’ office programs, it’s cool to like all things technological. Geeks are now our innovators, meaning that people aren’t as turned-off by the idea of a computer scientist, because it’s seen as a symbol of creativity in terms of pushing the limits of technology, or web design. Just make sure you’re creating the next Instagram, and you should be able to keep people’s interest.
The geek epidemic infected the world silently.
Those same popular kids, or disgruntled adults who rolled their eyes and dismissed technology 10 years ago have been caught up in the exact same storm as everyone else with the recent influx of new devices promising to connect us more than ever.
Then you have incredible conventions, such as Con Junkies, which have turned the experience of comic books and other fictional media into an interactive, community-based experience. It’s cool to like comics now, because they’ve been turned into Hollywood hits with popular actors. Again, this is a good thing. It’s brought people together.
There’s a common theme throughout all the reasons for geekiness becoming cool, and it comes down to socializing. To be a nerd or a geek was once seen as weird, because popularity depends on social interaction, connectivity and ‘sharing’ what’s cool with your friends. The things which have always been popular are still popular, but now people communicate through means which they once mocked. Films and the internet have given geeky interests new life. Perhaps there is no divide anymore.